Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philly's First Casino

SugarHouse Casino opens its door to gamblers.

Philly's First Casino

Six years after gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia's first casino will officially open to the public on Thursday. On Monday afternoon SugarHouse Casino opened for a trial run so the commonwealth's Gaming Control Board could conduct a standard audit of the casino's procedures. Cameras were not allowed inside.

I guess because it wasn't the real opening, there was no fanfare. A few dozen guests waited for the doors to open, more drove up to the valet parking attendants, and three hours later the group Casino-Free Philadelphia held a "memorial service" mourning, they said, "the loss of opportunities for the waterfront, as well the lives that would be ruined by compulsive gambling."

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

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Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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